The Gardens Trust launches new project to grow for the future

The project is designed to grow the Garden Trust’s resilience for the future, particularly by improving our ability to reach new people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. We are excited about ensuring that our work can have more impact and on broader foundations.

The total project cost is £95,700, of which £75,700 is a grant award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. It will run until winter 2022. Work will include market research so we better understand our place in the sector, the development of audience development and fundraising strategies so that we can grow our work in a sustainable way, expansion of our digital resource to reach new people, and a review of our internal organisational structures. We will also be piloting three activities around growing membership, digital engagement such as improving our website or getting better on social media, and community outreach such as events for people who haven’t previously been interested in garden history or conservation. Running through this all will be a concerted effort to reach more diverse audiences so that we can help ensure people from all backgrounds can come together to enjoy and care for historic parks and gardens.

The grant will also enable the recruitment of a short-term consultant, and a part-time Audience Development and Engagement Officer who will particularly focus on inclusion, diversity and improving our digital activity. Click to see full details of the roles. We are also looking for a Governance and Diversity Consultant to assist the board with a governance review.

Learning from the project will be shared with volunteers at the affiliated local County Gardens Trusts so that they too can become more sustainably impactful.

The Gardens Trust Chairman, Peter Hughes QC, says, “We are so grateful to Lottery players for this grant, which will enable us to reach more people and become stronger for the future. We are particularly delighted to be able to recruit a new Audience Development and Engagement Officer, and look forward to seeing how we connect with new friends from a range of different backgrounds.”

Dominic Cole CMLI FIOH VMM OBE, President of the Gardens Trust, says, “I have enjoyed watching the Gardens Trust go from strength to strength, and this is the next exciting stage on our journey. It is crucial that historic parks and gardens are enjoyed across our society so that they can survive for future generations, and this project will help us to achieve that goal.”

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund


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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith